Mar. 1, 2022

rose-of-Sharon, Hibiscus syriacus

Driving along a local country road, passing a small woodlot. What are all those pink flowers? This moment would become the first time rose-of-Sharon was collected wild in Michigan. But it was certainly not unexpected. How much time have you spent chasing all those seedlings from the one you planted by your house? Rose-of-Sharon has been planted for hedges, and it makes sense. The ones growing along that country road were so dense that they were literally inpenetrable. That's not all bad. It was a pretty sight, and the Balkan Ecology Project (these do get around!) says rose-of-Sharon leaves are edible, and can be used to produce orange to brown dye. The flowers and stems produce black or green. The flowers are also edible, as are the roots if you're tougher than they are. Fibre can be obtained from those tough stems and roots. Shampoo is made from the leaves. Rose-of-Sharon has been collected wild from AL, AR, CT, DE, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, and WV. Lenawee Co MI, 8/12/12. Mallow family, Malvaceae.